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Old April 12, 2014, 01:41 PM   #1
RX-79G
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Copper washed: The perfect bullet?

When I was reloading and shooting a lot, I had two guns with gas ports in the barrels, a Glock and lots of other more normal 9mm stuff.

I eventually started loading Berry copper washed (plated) bullets at full standard pressure. The washed bullets never chipped in the big gas port of the Steyr (which FMJ sometimes did), it never leaded any barrel, was accurate at 1100 fps and cheap - almost as cheap as buying LRN. Plus, no exposed lead at all.

I can imagine that you might be able to load .357 up to a velocity where the plating is too thin, but at low super sonic they appeared to be the perfect do-all bullet.

Has anyone had a very different experience?
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Old April 12, 2014, 08:28 PM   #2
Nick_C_S
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(I'm thinking this thread belongs in the Handloading section.)

I'm fairly new to loading plated bullets. So far, I'm very pleased with them. They work great. No leading and reasonable cost. I still load a lot of lead too. But yes, plated bullets work great for their purpose.

And no, I don't load high-pressure magnum loads with them - that's not their intended purpose. Still need jacketed for that.
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Old April 13, 2014, 12:52 AM   #3
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I put it here because the performance of the round in handguns is more relevant than how they get made into ammunition.
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Old April 13, 2014, 06:00 AM   #4
Hal
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Berry makes a good bullet - but - it's not as cheap as plain lead.

Others - not so much.

I've tried pushing generic copper wash past the speed of sound (~ 1100 fps) and they left a lot of smears in the barrel.

I couldn't really see any advantage over plain lead to justify the increased price.

In fairness though - I never used them in an auto loader. Just revolvers and lever action carbines.
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Old April 13, 2014, 10:48 AM   #5
blchandl2
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I have been using Xtreme plated bullets for a couple of years now. I am not loading hot rounds. For practice at the range, they are perfect for me. I tried lead bullets and did not like them at all. I had to throw away too many because they were irregular, or spend too much time with a file removing flash.
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Old April 13, 2014, 11:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
I tried lead bullets and did not like them at all. I had to throw away too many because they were irregular, or spend too much time with a file removing flash.
If that was the case, it wasn't because you got lead bullets, it was because you got crappy lead bullets.

Done right plated (washed) bullets are good for some things. But not all are done right. I have used them, but generally don't, simply because for my uses, lead (done right) is just as good, and cheaper, and when I load for top performance, plated just can't do it.
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Old April 13, 2014, 11:27 AM   #7
Jim Watson
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I consider copper "washed" to refer to the old Winchester Lubaloy bullets, with a VERY thin layer of copper over the lead.
The current crop of copper PLATED bullets like Berry's and Xtreme do quite well in my 9mms. Well enough that I don't buy jacketed bullets except occasionally to load some full charge JHP practice ammo.

I have worked with different makes of coated bullets, Moly and otherwise.
Some does well, some does not. Unfortunately I bought a large supply of the latter right before the vendor changed to a more effective coating. Takes more cleaning as they lay down both coating and leading in the barrel, but I am not going to throw away a case of bullets.
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Old April 15, 2014, 10:18 AM   #8
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Throw them away Jim!

One at a time, down the barrel!
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Old April 15, 2014, 10:59 AM   #9
Jim Watson
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That is what I am doing.

I once had some of the old Harvey Protexbore bullets with zinc washer gas check and no lube at all. They leaded like crazy until I dip lubed them. Some with Kalgard, some with Corbin's wax dip.

I am deep cleaning the barrel and will shoot some of this bunch with spray case lube over the coating to see if that helps.
I might try the Lee Liquid Alox + Johnson's Paste Wax + Mineral spirits dip, too. Can't get Kalgard any more and the homebrew is cheaper than Corbin's.
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